MONROE, La. (4/19/13) – The Arkansas State baseball team tied a season-high with 11 walks and scored three runs off three bases loaded hit batsman to earn a 7-5 victory over Louisiana-Monroe Friday at Warhawk Feld.
Austin Baker tied the school record by drawing four walks on the night, while Kaleb Brown 3-for-5 with an RBI and one scored. Daniel Wright (4-3) was solid in eight innings of work. He gave up just one run through the first seven innings, before surrendering four in the bottom of the eighth. John Koch pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the season.
ASU improved its overall record to 21-17 and 7-9 in Sun Belt Conference play, while ULM fell to 14-24 overall and 4-12 in league play.
“We had some quality at bats and really took advantage of the scoring opportunities we had,” head baseball coach Tommy Raffo said. “It is always difficult to win here and Daniel Wright pitched a great game, but just ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning.”
The Warhawks struck first with a run in the bottom of the second inning, but the Red Wolves struck back with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. ASU scored four runs on three hits and drove in two runs on two hit batsmen and batted around in the inning.
Brown started rally with a single through the right side and Emery followed with a walk. Claude Johnson delivered a 1-out a single up the middle that tied the score and Ryan Roberts followed with a walk to load the bases and Alex Potts was hit by a pitch in the next at bat to give ASU a 2-1 edge.
Austin Baker followed with a single through the right side that scored Johnson and chased ULM starting pitcher Cale Wine from the game. Jared Dye replaced Wine and hit Dustin Jones on the first pitch he threw to him to drive in the inning’s fourth run.
Arkansas State tacked on three more runs in the in the seventh inning, but did so without recording a hit in the frame. Roberts led off the inning by being hit by a pitch and Potts laid down his national leading 19th sacrifice bunt of the season to move him into scoring position. After issuing back-to-back walks to Baker and Jones, Tanner Ring was a hit by a pitch while pinch hitting for Collin Massanelli. It was the third A-State run that had been driven in on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch.
Brown drive in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field to push the score to 6-1 and Jones later scored on a wild pitch to give the Red Wolves a 7-1 advantage.
ULM made things interesting in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring four runs to cut the A-State deficit to 7-5. The Warhawks took advantage of an error by Dustin Jones, that helped extend the inning and give ULM a chance to cut into the lead.
Koch sat down the Warhawks in order in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn his team leading fourth save of the season.
A-State and ULM will square off in game two of the series Saturday night at 6 p.m. with Bradley Wallace scheduled to take mound for the Red Wolves.